Ready for round two, Cougs take on 2-seed Bruins
> For the 2nd time in three seasons and just the 7th time overall the Cougs won their opening game at the Pac Tournament, defeating (10) Cal 66-59, Wednesday night. The second round contest for the Cougs will be their first since 2009 after having the 2020 Tournament second round canceled due to Covid-19. WSU has never won a second round game.
> WSU enters the game 19-13 overall looking for its first 20-win season since 2010-11 when WSU won 22
> The Cougs take on (2) UCLA Thursday night. WSU is 1-1 all-time against UCLA in the Pac Tournament defeating 3-seed UCLA 73-71 in 1988 and falling to 2-seed UCLA 64-53 in the second round of the 2009 tournament. Earlier this season the Bruins took a 79-59 victory over the Cougs at Pauley Pavilion in their one and only contest of the regular season. The last time the Cougs defeated the Bruins away from Pullman came in 2009 in an 82-81 win at Pauley Pavilion – the last neutral site win came in 1988 in the Pac Tournament.
> Efe Abogidi led the Cougs on Wednesday night scoring 19 points as WSU defeated Cal. The Cougs hit an impressive 20-of-23 from the line (a WSU record in a Pac Tournament contest).
> Defensively the Cougs have allowed 65.1 points per game and are 35th in the country in defensive rating at 95.2 per 100 possessions. (DI average of 103.5). Efe Abogidi leads the way with a defensive rating of 90.8.
WSU IN THE PAC-12 TOURNAMENT
The Cougs enter the second round of the Pac-12 Tournament as the No. 7 seed where they will take on the No. 2 seed Bruins of UCLA.
The Cougs won just their 7th game at the Pac Tournament with their 66-59 win over Cal Wednesday night. The win was their 2nd in three seasons under head coach Kyle Smith and the most since winning three-straight first round games under Tony Bennett from 2007-2009.
WSU is now 7-21 overall at the Pac Tournament and 2-1 as the 7 seed.
WSU has never won two games at the Pac Tournament, falling in the second round after all six of its previous first round wins.
The Cougs are 1-1 all-time against UCLA in the Pac Tournament defeating 3-seed UCLA 73-71 in 1988 and falling to 2-seed UCLA 64-53 in the second round of the 2009 tournament.
LAST TIME AGAINST THE BRUINS
The Cougs and the Bruins met just one time in the regular season with the Bruins taking a 76-56 win over WSU at Pauley Pavilion. Both teams were shorthanded in the contest with the Cougs missing both TJ Bamba and Dishon Jackson while the Bruins were without Tyger Campbell. In the loss Tyrell Roberts scored 14 points while Noah Williams and Andrej Jakimovski each scored 11. The 20-point loss was the Cougs' largest margin of defeat on the year as the Bruins outshot the Cougs 51% to 28% from the floor.
In three seasons under head coach Kyle Smith the Cougs are 2-3 against UCLA winning both times at home in Pullman while falling all three times at Pauley Pavilion. The last time the Cougs defeated the Bruins away from Pullman came at the Pac Tournament in 2009.
COUGS IN THE REGULAR SEASON
In a season of ups and downs the Cougs finished the regular season 18-13 overall to post the most wins in a season in a decade on the Palouse since tallying 19 in the 2011-12 season. The Cougs win total was bolstered by strong run through the Pac-12 going 11-9 on the year for just the program's 13th winning season in conference play since the Pac was formed in the 1968-69 and the first since Tony Bennett roamed the sideline in 2007-08. In all the Cougs finished tied for 5th place alongside of Oregon and Washington. The finish was the team's best finish in Pac play since 2007-08 when the Cougs finished tied for 3rd. It marks just the third time WSU finished in the top-5 since 1994-95.
As they have done for three seasons under Head Coach Kyle Smith the Cougs made the most of their time on the court against their PNW rivals finishing 4-2 against UW, Oregon, and Oregon State. WSU finished the regular season winning 4-of-5 (all against their PNW rivals) including a 94-74 win over Oregon to close things out (the largest margin of victory since 2009.
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